I dog ear my books, do you?

dog-earing books

I came to think about this last week when I dog-eared my copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Dog-earing will always be a “feud” us readers have, but I’m curious, do you dog-ear your books? I sure do. I do have some bookmarks so I don’t always do it, but when I do I don’t feel guilty or bad for doing it.

I dog-ear to remember my place or to find back to quotes I like. I don’t worry about breaking the spines (if they’re paperbacks) and sometimes I underline and scribble in the books if I feel like it. Sometimes I fold them in half for easier reading. When I hear people say they’re so scared to break the spine that they can barely open the book when they read I get so stressed out for them. I mean, you do you, but that sounds like a lot of effort. I love it when a book looks old and worn and well-read (and thus well-loved). Of course I only do this with my own books, but that should be a given. Though I doubt breaking a library book spine is a big deal, it’s pretty hard to avoid, especially if it’s a big book. Most will already be broken anyway. 

dog-earing books

Yes, my copy of Twilight reveals how much I used to love this series when I was a teenager. It’s quite funny to look back at this copy now and basically see my obsession on the pages and the cover.  

Sure, a pristine bookstore-looking shelf might look good on instagram, but I love my war-torn copies of Harry Potter and all the broken and creased spines that show you what books I’ve read and which I haven’t. My bookshelf isn’t a bookstore or a museum. I love being able to look at a book and be able to tell if it’s loved or if it’s just “okay”. 

I do like a pristine dust jacket though.



This far I’ve mostly made notes in books on my syllabus, but I want to start doing it in my other books too every now and then. I don’t know, I just like how it looks? 

writing in books

My copy of Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Now I’m genuinely curious to hear what you do. Do you dog-ear? Do you need your books to look pristine? Why, why not? 

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34 thoughts on “I dog ear my books, do you?

  1. Ashleigh says:

    I’ve got to say, I’m one of the people who likes my books looking pristine. I don’t crack the spine, but that’s more to do with the fact that I never need to – I hold my books in a way that hardly bends the spine, no matter how big the book. I don’t dog ear books either, but that’s because I have a huge collection of bookmarks, so I don’t need to. I used to break spines and dog ear books though. You can tell which books I’ve owned for years, because they all look a bit worse for wear, like my Harry Potter books. I’ve owned them since I was about eight, so they’re so battered and the spines…well, I’m surprised they’ve not broken in all honesty haha!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Cinderzenablogs says:

        lol me too. I make/buy so many book marks but when I really need one, they all seem to think its funny to leave me stranded. -_- I dont mind it if that book is mine, but if some else does it on mine…. have no mercy!! if I’m the one creating marks all over them, down the spine or on the pages, thats maybe a little memory created saying that this book has been ‘read’.


  2. Aj @ Read All The Things! says:

    I used to dogear and write in my college books. I did it because we were allowed to have the books with us when we took tests. Now I keep my books looking pretty because I trade them at used bookstores if I didn’t love them. Some bookstores won’t take books that are really beat up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Combustible reviews says:

    I’m not one who panics about keeping my books in pristine condition, but I don’t dog ear and would never write in my books. If had to crack the spine to be able to read easier then I would, but I’d avoid it if I could.

    All of this mainly comes from my Dad as its things he taught me not to do when I was growing up. He’d be horrified! Something else he taught me was to never throw books away. Maybe give them away, but never dump them in the bin.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. remarkablylisa says:

    I buy a lot of thrifted books so it’s rare for me to find crisp clean mint condition copies of new books and when i do, i’m super happy! But i love my dog eared copies or the ones that have seen better days because the look, feel, and smell of them are so lovely. The only sad part is that when I take bookstagram pictures they don’t turn out as nicely as I want them to be. It’s sad because the beaten up copies need love too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ichabod2014ic says:

    No, I do not dog-ear. I am careful with books.
    My sister is a dog-earer and spine breaker! When she buys a paperback, ~pop!~ that is the first thing she does with it!


    • Anette @ Anette Reads says:

      Haha! I don’t go out of my way to break the spines but if it happens naturally while I read then I don’t care at all. Though I admit that I’m going to be more careful with my copy of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, because it’s the most beautiful cover I own and the spine is to die for ❤


  6. Sara @ freadomlibrary says:

    I used to dog ear my books but now that I mostly read ebooks nothing really happens to the books haha. But I’ve never highlighted or underlined or put tabs on my books. I like the insides to look pristine but I’m sure at some point I’ll try putting tabs on it because I am the worst at remembering quotes I like. I love how you share your thoughts and treat your books the way you want to, no matter how people will try to judge you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rachel says:

    I used to dog-ear my books. Then I found a certain kind of bookmark that I absolutely love so I use that instead.
    I love seeing books looking old and worn because, as you said, it looks like they were used well and loved. Though, I will admit that when I buy a new book I try to keep it as crisp as possible. When it accidentally gets that first crease, then I’ll shrug it off and say whatever, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anette @ Anette Reads says:

      I have one bookmark that I really love as well, it’s a Sherlock Holmes one from London. And that’s basically how I am too, if the book is new and shiny then I won’t fling it everywhere but I welcome all the creases that will eventually pop up anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Carrianne says:

    With every paragraph, I cringed a little more. I don’t know where it comes from, but I like keeping my books looking pristine. Eventually, I do break the spine, or allow it happen naturally, but it kind of happens on it’s own as I’m reading. If that makes sense? Actually, now that I think about it, it depends on the book. For books I read in school, I’d break the spine, dog ear them, write in them, highlight, you name it. They look very well “loved.”

    I think it’s so interesting how different everyone is and the great debate over something so trivial. You do you as long as it isn’t to my books. I loaned a book to someone in pristine condition and it was a disaster. lol

    Anyway, awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anette @ Anette Reads says:

      Hahaha, I knew I would make some people clutch their pearls XD Yeah, I don’t go out of my way to crack spines usually, but if it happens naturally then I don’t care about it, unlike some people who have to avoid it at all costs. I do have some books that are just extraordinarily pretty though that I try to keep as nice looking as possible (though I’ll still dog ear). I’ve always been very nice to books that I’m borrowing from someone 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Carrie Artrip-Sallie (@sweet_cherry69) says:

    Reading your post and then comments, I’m actually surprised! I thought more people would be like me and completely freak out if their book was written in or damaged. It’s cool to see so many different opinions. Your post is great! I on the other hand flip out if I even see a bend on the book. I do buy used books but if they don’t look in near perfect condition or better, I won’t get them. I have extreme OCD when it comes to my books. I have a lot of book marks and even if I can’t find one I will use an old recipient or something.

    The thing is, I don’t know why I’m like this. My mother never cared nor did my teacher. I just… no. I will actually turn around and sell my book if it gets damaged and buy a new copy. Yes, I’m that weird lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yasmin @ The Wild Readers says:

    I’m completely fine with dog earing books. its kind of a given for someone as lazy as me. aint nobody got time to find bookmarks XD however I wont dog ear library books out of respect. only my own copies.

    ive never written in one of my books, i usually just use sticky notes because then when i go to write my review its easier to find the passages i took notes on. i once borrowed a copy from someone who wrote in their book, and it’s kind of nice to see what other people think of specific sentences and stuff though.

    Liked by 1 person

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